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How Good Fortune Came To Pierre
by [?]

Many years ago, in a shabby room in one of the poorest streets of London, a little golden-haired boy sat singing, in his sweet, childish voice, by the bedside of his sick mother. Though faint from hunger and oppressed with loneliness, he manfully forced back the tears that kept welling up into his blue eyes, and, for his mother’s sake, tried to look bright and cheerful. But it was hard to be brave and strong while his dear mother was suffering for lack of the delicacies which he longed to provide for her, but could not. He had not tasted food all day himself. How he could drive away the gaunt, hungry wolf, Famine, that had come to take up its abode with them, was the thought that haunted him as he tried to sing a little song he himself had composed. He left his place by the invalid, who, lulled by his singing, had fallen into a light sleep. As he looked listlessly out of the window, he noticed a man putting up a large poster, which bore, in staring yellow letters, the announcement that Madame M—-, one of the greatest singers that ever lived, was to sing in public that night.

“Oh, if I could only go!” thought little Pierre, his love of music for the moment making him forgetful of aught else. Suddenly his face brightened, and the light of a great resolve shone in his eyes. “I will try it,” he said to himself; and, running lightly to a little stand that stood at the opposite end of the room, with trembling hands he took from a tiny box a roll of paper. With a wistful, loving glance at the sleeper, he stole from the room and hurried out into the street.

“Who did you say is waiting for me?” asked Madame M—- of her servant; “I am already worn out with company.”

“It is only a very pretty little boy with yellow curls, who said that if he can just see you, he is sure you will not be sorry, and he will not keep you a moment.”

“Oh, well, let him come,” said the great singer, with a kindly smile, “I can never refuse children.”

Timidly the child entered the luxurious apartment, and, bowing before the beautiful, stately woman, he began rapidly, lest his courage should fail him: “I came to see you because my mother is very sick, and we are too poor to get food and medicine. I thought, perhaps, that if you would sing my little song at some of your grand concerts, maybe some publisher would buy it for a small sum, and so I could get food and medicine for my mother.”

Taking the little roll of paper which the boy held in his hand, the warm-hearted singer lightly hummed the air. Then, turning toward him, she asked, in amazement: “Did you compose it? you, a child! And the words, too?” Without waiting for a reply, she added quickly, “Would you like to come to my concert this evening?” The boy’s face became radiant with delight at the thought of hearing the famous songstress, but a vision of his sick mother, lying alone in the poor, cheerless room, flitted across his mind, and he answered, with a choking in his throat:–

“Oh, yes; I should so love to go, but I couldn’t leave my mother.”

“I will send somebody to take care of your mother for the evening, and here is a crown with which you may go and get food and medicine. Here is also one of my tickets. Come to-night; that will admit you to a seat near me.”

Overcome with joy, the child could scarcely express his gratitude to the gracious being who seemed to him like an angel from heaven. As he went out again into the crowded street, he seemed to tread on air. He bought some fruit and other little delicacies to tempt his mother’s appetite, and while spreading out the feast of good things before her astonished gaze, with tears in his eyes, he told her of the kindness of the beautiful lady.